Chino XL On Lyricism: “With This Gift Comes Great Responsibility”

Chino XL On Lyricism: "With This Gift Comes Great Responsibility"

The “Ricanstruction”-emcee also cites Battle Rap as an example of the continued importance of lyricism.

Chino XL was a guest on The War Report’s VIP Room this week (February 15). During the conversation hosted by Sara Kana, the Ricanstruction-emcee shared his thoughts on the importance of lyricism. He also compares rap lyrics to historical writings by European scholars and states that “our work is better.”

“I take the craft extremely seriously,” Chino XL says, “maybe so much so to the point of my own demise in certain ways of things needed to be to a certain level for me to even want to record it or bring it to the world.”

“I hold lyricism so close to me, like people would hold a child or how you hold a family member,” he continues. “I’ve seen the world because of it. There’s no other thing that’s brung me my magic carpet in this lifetime. I don’t know if people understand the power that they have when they do it especially when you do it well—how you can unite people, how you can divide people, how you can start a revolution by inspiring one person. You think you’re just sitting down writing rhymes one minute and the next minute you’re at an at risk youth program and someone comes up to you and telling you how your words have changed their life.

“Then you start to understand that with this gift comes great responsibility, and you really start to appreciate it,” adds Chino XL. “You don’t just appreciate it for yourself, you appreciate it for everyone else who’s nice and you just hope that they understand what they have and don’t let anybody tell them that our literature is any less than the great European people that they teach us in school. Our work is better, man. Our work is better.”

Chino XL also discussed the evolution of Battle Rap and cites the subgenre as a positive example of the influence lyricism currently holds within Hip Hop.

“My viewpoint on Battle Rap, as I am a fan of it, is that it is not the same as the era that I come from,” he says. “It is a complete new sport. It is a new kata. It is a new technique. It has elements of all the things that we were doing. I watch it in amazement. There’s no music. It’s just the words, the person’s heart, their mind, and whatever they’re coming up with or have done previously. I think it’s amazing. It’s a new artform. It’s completely different than it was before. It’s mind blowing. It puts lyricism on the forefront. That’s what it is. It’s nothing else other than that. You get the whole thing where they’re doing everyone’s background but that comes from playing the dozens. It’s just amazing and I’m happy to see it because there was a time where everybody was like, ‘Lyrics don’t matter and it’s just about beat and the hooks,’ but here’s a whole industry that people are able to feed their family off of that’s based on the words that they said. It’s dope, dude. It’s dope.”

Listen to the full interview on The War Report.

For more on Battle Rap, view The Breakdown below:

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